Jean Tang Lab In the Department of Dermatology

Jean Tang Lab

Our research focuses on finding new ways to treat and prevent skin cancer. We are committed to bringing laboratory-based insights to benefit our patients. The Tang Lab is interested in these research areas:

Therapeutics: We are interested in clinical trials testing of novel small molecule inhibitors to treat and prevent BCC tumors in patients. We have launched an investigator-initiated randomized clinical trial testing GDC-0449 (Genentech) for BCC prevention in patients with Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome (with Ervin Epstein). GDC-0449 is a new inhibitor of the Hedgehog signaling pathway which drives BCC development. We are also testing itraconazole, an antifungal drug, for inhibition of BCC biomarkers in a Phase II Pilot study in patients with sporadic BCC tumors (with Philip Beachy).

Prevention: We are interested in using large cohorts and datasets to understand risk factors for non-melanoma skin cancer and melanoma development. We utilize data from the Women's Health Initiative (Marcia Stefanick), the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS, Steve Cummings), and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (John Ioannidis). We have identified that vitamin D is capable of prevention tumors in mice and that vitamin D levels correlate with skin cancer risk in humans.

Early detection: We are using fluorescence-based imaging techniques to identify sub-clinical, microscopic skin tumors in mice and in human tissue.

Role of sunlight and vitamin D: We are exploring the relationship between sunlight, vitamin D, and skin cancer risk. We have identified that vitamin D is capable of preventing tumors in mice and that vitamin D levels correlate with skin cancer in humans.

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